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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Doctors and trust

My family doctor was named Leslie. And that is what we called her.  She was also my kids doctor, and gave Ruby her personal email when she became a teenager in case she had any questions about anything at all. Six months after my stroke, Leslie moved on to a training and research position with Fred Hutchinson for the consistent hours and more pay.  But not before she normalized my new life for me just a bit.
She was an amazing practitioner.  She would give me alternatives to prescriptions. She had no time limit on speaking with me about everything, she would take as long as needed.  Once we were done after two hours... an hour after the office closed.   She gave me options to the intense drugs my neurologist was prescribing post-stroke.  This caused him to call her up and read her the riot act, which she then called me and told me both sides of the medical coin regarding the drugs. She was not phased by his call, but wanted me to know I had options.
Even though it was the first time she would not say "everything would be alright", she did tell me there were patients she had with strokes that fully recovered. And got off all the drugs.  She rolled with the punches, no pity, no I am so sorry.  Just : this has happened.  These are some options.  This is what you can't know.  This is what you can.  I miss her knowledge of me.  She knew I did not like drugs.  She knew I was stubborn and liked to figure stuff out.  She knew I needed to know things.  And that I am strong and a fighter.  I guess I am writing this after trying for the last year to find her replacement.  People do not practice medicine that way... or at least I have not found it.  I am slowly molding a set of docs and nurses into what I need but they are under a big hospital corporation that keeps track of every moment of time and makes sure it fits the prescribed pattern of medical behavior for maximum profit.  When I was in Kauai I had some tests done and moved off another drug. (Plavix, I am not looking forward to my neurologists response!)  I was in contact with a nurse at this new office getting the hospital info for her so she could fax off an order...and by the end of our conversations I learned all about her experiences of the other Hawaiian Islands and the Caribbean. Thisconnection makes their tight rules a bit more palatable, in that I am hearing personal stories- and that makes them see me as something other than the patient with a whole lotta shit going on in her head.   I have expanded my world so much post-stroke -opened myself up to new friends, new situations, a new perspective. That actually sounds really cheesy, but it is true.  I am really happy to be here, for however long that is and living a life that I am present in.  No more powering through life with it blurring by like a scenery out the window in a fast car.  Wish me luck with my doctor hunt?

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